Former target on transfer decision
One of the first transfer moves Sunderland made after the arrival of Stewart Donald and Jack Ross was to try and gazump Hibernian’s move for Florian Kamberi.
Kamberi had spent the second half of the 2017-18 season on loan at Easter Road, scoring 9 goals in 14 games, and that form saw Sunderland make a six-figure bid for the Switzerland under-21 international.
The striker eventually chose to return to Hibs but, after Ross’ recent appointment as Hibernian manager, he will get to play for the man who chased him for Sunderland - and Kamberi has admitted that he spoke to Ross about a move to the Stadium of Light.
I knew him last summer because he tried to sign me for Sunderland.
I wasn’t that close to signing. I just had a chat with him but it was nothing close. I just wanted to meet him and see how he was.
He was great a person so when I saw he was appointed here I was very happy.
Sunderland are a big club and everything and the manager did try to sign me, but in that moment, I felt coming to Hibs and playing in the Premiership was the right move for me.
Sunderland experience already helping Ross
Ross has got his Hibernian career off to a good start on Saturday, with Kamberi scoring in a 3-1 home win over Motherwell.
The SPL side will have a run of eight games between now and the winter break on December 30 and Ross has said that his experiences at the Stadium of Light are already helping him in Scotland.
As Ross’ Sunderland played 61 games last season, the 43-year-old believes that amount of games has become the norm for him:
It is pretty busy between now and the end of the year. ‘I am well used to it’ is probably the best thing I could say.
I had a 61-game season last year. I was used to the relentlessness of eight, nine, 10 fixtures a month. I had that quite often.
Although I say this period is quite busy, it is probably the norm for me or certainly it has been for me over the last year-and-a-half.
I have probably had to train myself and educate myself in a different way than what I had to deal with previously.
I think that is standing me in good stead for this period that we have got and then after the winter break, it settles down again.
When you have less time on the training pitch it is easier to do that and accept that when you are in good place, whether results or performance-wise.
Morgan on the move?
One of Ross’ players from last season, Lewis Morgan, has found himself struggling for playing time for Celtic.
The 23-year-old was a regular for the Scottish champions during the early part of the campaign but has barely featured since August.
That lack of playing time has led to rumours of another loan spell, with his former club St Mirren one side who would be keen to sign the winger.
Buddies’ manager Jim Goodwin has admitted his interest in the player but says he will have to wait and see if Morgan becomes available:
The January window is approaching, we’ve been looking at our own squad and looking at different options that are out there.
Of course Lewis would be a player we’d love to get, he’s obviously been here before and been very successful. He’s a quality footballer but at this minute in time he’s not available.
We haven’t been told by Celtic that he is and he remains part of their squad.
I wouldn’t hide from the fact that if we could have an opportunity of making that one happen then absolutely we would.
We’ll wait until the window opens and we will have those conversations then.
It’s all well and good speaking to Celtic but the player needs to want to come as well and he’ll have people advising him on that but Lewis is among a number of players that we’re looking at.
We need to strengthen again in January, it’s as simple as that.